Sports Betting at New Mexico’s Tribal Casinos

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>> Gene: FOOTBALL FANSAND EVEN FANS OF CLEVER COMMERCIALS ARE GETTINGREADY TO WATCH THE SUPER BOWL THIS WEEKEND.

THIS YEARS NFLCHAMPIONSHIP INVOLVES FRIENDLY WAGERS AND INTHIS YEAR'S MATCHUP BETWEEN THE KANSAS CITYCHIEFS AND SAN FRANCISCO 49'S WILL BE NODIFFERENT.

OTHERS HAVE LAID DOWNMORE THAN JUST A CASUAL WAGER.

A 2018 U.

S.

SUPREMECOURT DECISION OPENED THE DOOR FOR TRIBESACROSS THE COUNTRY TO ACCEPT SPORTS BETTING INTHEIR CASINOS.

HERE IN NEW MEXICO, SANTA ANA, LAGUNA AND ISLETA HAVE STARTEDSPORTS BOOKS.

OTHER TRIBES AREEXPLORING THE OPTION TOO.

THIS WEEK NMIFCORRESPONDENT ANTONIA GONZALES LOOKS AT SPORTSGAMBLING AT ISLETA, HOW THE PUEBLO CHOSE TO OPENITS SPORT BOOK, WHAT BUSINESS IS LIKE ANDWHAT OTHER TRIBES ARE WEIGHING BEFORE THEYACT.

>> Antonia: JOINING MENOW ARE EDWARD CALABAZA, FORMER ISLETA TRIBALCOUNCIL MEMBER AND STACI CHAFINS, THE ISLETAPLAYER DEVELOPMENT MANAGER AT THE CASINO.

WELCOME TO NEW MEXICOPBS.

>> Calabaza: THANK YOU FORHAVING US.

>> Antonia: SPORTS BETTING ISFAIRLY NEW AFTER.

THE 2018 SUPREME COURTOPENS IT UP FOR STATES AND TRIBES, A NUMBER OFTRIBES ACROSS THE COUNTRY INCLUDING HEREIN NEW MEXICO DECIDED TO TRY IT OUT INCLUDINGISLETA.

CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLEBIT, ED, HOW THAT IDEA CAME ABOUT FOR THETRIBE? >> Calabaza: WELL, THETRIBAL COUNCIL HAD BEEN TALKING ABOUT THATPOSSIBILITY BECAUSE WE KNEW THAT THAT CASE WASMAKING ITS WAY THROUGH THE SUPREME COURT.

ONCE THEY MADE THEIRRULING, WITH OUR GENERAL COUNSEL, WE STARTEDPUTTING THINGS IN MOTION.

WE WANTED TO KNOW MOREINFORMATION AS TO REALLY WHAT ARE THEPERCENTAGES, WHAT IS OR WOULD BE THE WIN ANDLOSS.

WAS IT WORTH IT FOR USTO DO THAT? BECAUSE IT MEANTRECONSTRUCTING A PART OF THE CASINO TO BUILD ASPORTS BOOK, SO WOULD WE BE ABLE TO RECOUP THATCOST, THE INVESTMENT, YOU KNOW.

ROI, WAS THAT GOING TOBE THERE? WE DID A NUMBER OFTHINGS LIKE CALLING OTHER TRIBES, VISITINGLAS VEGAS.

WE ALSO WENT TO THE UNLVSCHOOL OF GAMBLING, TOOK A COURSE THERE.

WE VISITED CASINOS THEREIN LAS VEGAS AND THEN WE STARTED FEELING OUT THEWATERS AS TO WHO WAS GOING TO SET OUR BETTINGLINES AND HOW MUCH DID THEY WANT ON THEIR ENDFOR TAKING THAT RISK AND RESPONSIBILITY.

SO, IT WASN'T SOMETHINGAS FAST AS, HEY, SUPREME COURT MADE ITS DECISION, TOMORROW WE ARE GOING TO START SPORTS BETTING.

YOU KNOW, THERE WAS ALOT OF RESEARCH AND WE HAD TO DO OUR HOMEWORK, SO TO SPEAK.

>> Antonia: YOU'REINVOLVED AS WELL LIKE ED IS TALKING ABOUT GOINGTO CLASSES AND LEARNING ABOUT SPORTS BETTING.

HOW WAS THAT BENEFICIALTO HAVING THE FRUITION OF THE SPORTS BOOKOPENING AT THE CASINO? >> Chafins: THE TRAINING THAT WEWENT TOO WAS GOOD.

WE HAD A GLI COME ANDTRAIN US ON PROPERTY.

IT HELPED OVERALL GETMORE PEOPLE IN CASINO FAMILIAR, EMPLOYEE WISE, DIFFERENT DEPARTMENTS, SO THEY WOULD UNDERSTANDWHAT THIS IS ALL ABOUT.

AND, YOU KNOW, HOW WEWERE GOING TO START AND WE STARTED IN ATEMPORARY LOCATION AND THEN WE MOVED.

THEY HAD THECONSTRUCTION DONE TO BUILD A NEW SPORTS BOOK.

>> Antonia: HOW HAS ITBEEN RECEIVED SO FAR BY GUESTS? >> Chafins: VERY WELL.

IT HAS GROWN OURDEMOGRAPHIC OF PEOPLE THAT COME INTO THECASINO.

IT IS A GROUP WEPROBABLY DIDN'T HAVE BEFORE AND NOW, YOUKNOW, WE HAVE MORE PEOPLE THAT AREINTERESTED IN THE SPORTS BOOK THAT MIGHT USE OURENTERTAINMENT AND RESTAURANTS OR PLAYTABLES AS WELL.

SO IT HAS DEFINITELYGROWN.

>> Antonia: HOW DO YOUSEE THAT AS PART OF, YOU KNOW, ACHIEVING A GOALFOR THE TRIBE, YOU KNOW? THERE WAS A LOT OF –MILLIONS OF DOLLARS WENT INTO THE RENOVATION FORTHE SPORTS BOOK.

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WHAT WERE SOME OF THOSEIDEAS BEHIND THAT DECISION? >> Calabaza: IT IS JUSTANOTHER AMENITY.

IF WE ARE NOT GOING TOOFFER IT OUR GUESTS MAY GO TO ANOTHER CASINOTHAT HAS IT.

SANTA ANA WAS THE FIRSTIN THE STATE TO DO IT.

ALMOST IMMEDIATELY, IKNOW, FRIENDS WHO ARE ALSO SPORTS BETTERS, THEY WENT THERE ALMOST IMMEDIATELY, AND THEYWOULD STAY THERE IN THAT BERNALILLO AREA AND NOTVISIT THE OTHER CASINO LIKE SANDIA OR ISLETA, ROUTE 66, BECAUSE WE WEREN'T OFFERING IT ATTHAT TIME.

SO, SANTA ANA REALLYHAD, YOU KNOW, THE MOTHER LOAD OF PEOPLEWHO ARE INTERESTED IN SPORTS BETTING.

SPORTS BETTER MAY GOWITH THEIR WIVES AND THEIR WIVES MAY PLAY THESLOTS.

SPORTS BETTERS WANT TOGO TO THE SPORTS BOOK.

IT IS A HAPPY MEDIUM FOREVERYBODY.

IN TERMS OF GETTING BACKTHE COSTS, WE WERE EXCITED WHEN WE FINALLYMOVED FROM THAT TEMPORARY LOCATION TOTHE BIG SPORTS BOOK LOCATION.

NEW MEXICO IS UNIQUE INTERMS OF ITS COMPACTS BECAUSE WE CANNOT ALLOWCLASS THREE GAMING WITH ALCOHOL TO BE INFUSED.

SO, WE ARE UNIQUE INTHAT WE NEED A GOOD DIVIDER TO SEPARATEWHERE WE ARE MAKING THE TRANSACTIONS AND THE BARTHAT IS LOCATED INSIDE THE SPORTS BOOK.

IF THAT MAKES SENSE.

IF YOU VISITED THATSECTION.

I MEAN, A LOT OF PEOPLEHAVE THE MISNOMER THAT WE'RE LIKE LAS VEGAS ANDPEOPLE ARE WALKING AROUND THE CASINO WITHALCOHOL AND THAT IS JUST NOT THE CASE.

NEW MEXICO IS UNIQUE.

THEY MAKE THOSESTIPULATIONS.

THAT IS JUST PART OF THECOMPACTS WE HAVE WITH THE STATE? >> Antonia: IT IS LIKE IF YOU GOTO ANY TRIBAL CASINO, THE BAR, THE ALCOHOL –>> Calabaza: THE ALCOHOL STAYS IN THE BAR.

AND HAS TO BE SEPARATED FROM THE CLASS THREEGAMING, THAT IS CORRECT.

>> Antonia: WHEN IT COMES TOGAMBLING, ANY KIND OF GAMBLING OR EVEN TRIBAL CASINOS, THERE ISA LOT OF OPINIONS AND THEN ADDING TO SPORTS BETTING, THEREIS ALSO A LOT OF OPINIONS ON THAT.

WAS THERE ANY KIND OFPUSHBACK BECAUSE IT HAS TO DO PARTICULARLY WITHSPORTS AND BETTING ON SPORTS? >> Calabaza: I THINK THEBIGGEST PUSHBACK THAT WE HEARD BECAUSE THAT WEWERE NOT GOING TO RESTRICT OUR GAMBLINGFOR INSTANCE, WITH THE TWO SCHOOLS IN NEWMEXICO, UNIVERSITY OF NEW MEXICO AND NEWMEXICO STATE UNIVERSITY ATHLETICS.

WE WERE NOT GOING TORESTRICT BETTING ON THOSE TWO ENTITIES.

SANTA ANA FROM THEGET-GO SAID WE ARE NOT TAKING BETS ON THOSE TWOSCHOOLS.

SO, REALLY, THAT WAS THEINITIAL DISCUSSION.

OTHER THAN THAT, I DON'TKNOW THAT WE FELT ANY KIND OF NEGATIVERAMIFICATIONS FROM THAT.

THERE IS ALWAYS ACONCERN AND THERE WAS CONCERN EVEN BACK WHEN ISTARTED MAKING BETS BACK IN THE EARLY 90'S ANDLATE 80'S, YOU COULDN'T GO TO LAS VEGAS AND BETON THE UNLV REBELS.

YOU COULD ONLY BET ONTHE REBELS IN RENO, NEVADA OR LAKE TAHOE.

VICE VERSA, UNIVERSITYOF NEVADA, RENO YOU COULDN'T MAKE BETS ONTHOSE TEAMS IN RENO.

YOU HAD TO GO TO LASVEGAS OR ELSEWHERE.

LAUGHLIN.

TO MAKE THOSE BETS, SO, I THINK THAT HAS ALL COME FULL CIRCLE.

PEOPLE ARE UNDERSTANDINGTHAT GAMES AREN'T BEING FIXED.

AND THERE IS ALWAYSGOING TO BE THAT SUSPICION BUT I THINK WEHAVE COME A LONG WAY IN TERMS OF RECOGNIZING ANDSTACI CAN TALK MORE ABOUT THE WAY THAT THEYMONITOR GAMBLING ACTIVITY, YOU KNOW.

THERE ARE PLAYERPROFILES THAT ARE SET UP AND IF THERE IS ACHANGE, A HUGE HICCUP, LIKE, FOR INSTANCE, I'LLBET, 20, 25 HERE AND THERE ON A GAME.

IF FOR SOME REASON I GOTO THE CASINO AND MAKE A 5, 000 BET, THAT ISCOMPLETELY OUT OF THE ORDINARY, THAT SUSPICIONSTARTS TO ARISE AND THAT IS HOW YOU TRACK, MONITOR AND LOOK INTO DIFFERENT TYPES OFSUSPICIOUS ACTIVITY.

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>> Antonia: YOU WANT TOADD ANYTHING TO THAT? >> Chafins: AT ISLETA WE DOREQUIRE A PLAYERS CLUB CARD TO MAKE A SPORTS BOOK BET.

THAT ALSO HELPS USRECOGNIZE — IT IS LIKE EDWARD SAID, IF YOU'REMAKING 20, 25 DOLLAR BETS AND JUMP UP TO5, 000, THERE IS A SUSPICION THERE.

IS THAT REALLY YOURPLAY? SO WE DO MONITOR THATINTERNALLY AS WELL THROUGH OUR COMPLIANCETO MAKE SURE THAT WE DO KNOW OUR CUSTOMERS.

>> Antonia: I ALSO WASINTERESTED IN WHEN YOU WERE GOING THROUGH THEDISCUSSIONS AND GOING TO THE DIFFERENT SCHOOLSAND LEARNING ABOUT SPORTS BETTING, WASTHERE ANY KIND OF DISCUSSION ABOUT HOWTHIS MAY BRING TO LIGHT ILLEGAL SPORTS BETTINGAT ALL? WAS THAT PART OF THEDISCUSSIONS? >> Calabaza: YEAH, ATTHE TRAINING, THEY IDENTIFIED TWO MAJORSCANDALS THAT HAVE ERUPTED.

AND THERE HAS ONLY BEENTWO WITH COLLEGE BASKETBALL.

THAT WAS AT THE BOSTONCOLLEGE AND AT ARIZONA STATE.

THE WAY THEY FOUND OUTTHE ARIZONA STATE ONE WAS YOU HAD THESE KIDSTHAT WERE COMING IN FROM TEMPE, WEARING THEIRARIZONA STATE MEMORABILIA BUT THEYWERE BETTING ON THE OTHER TEAM.

SO THAT GAVE RISE TOSUSPICION.

LIKE, WHAT ARE THESEKIDS DOING.

WHAT DO THEY KNOW THATWE DON'T.

THAT WENT OVER A PERIODOF SEVERAL WEEKS.

UNTIL THEY FINALLY TOOKARIZONA STATE OFF THE BOARD AND DOWN THE ROADAFTER SOME INVESTIGATIONS, AFTERCALLS TO THE SCHOOL, THEY FOUND OUT THATTHERE WAS SOME GAME FIXING, SOME POINTSHARING IS WHAT THEY CALL IT, THAT WAS GOINGON.

BOSTON COLLEGE ONE ISINFAMOUS BECAUSE IT WAS ARRANGED BY THE MOB, YOUKNOW.

THERE WERE MEMBERS OFTHE MOB THAT FIXED THOSE GAMES AND I BELIEVE ONEOF THEM IS THE LEAD CHARACTER IN A MOB MOVIEMANY, BUT, YEAH, THAT WAS AT BOSTON COLLEGE.

>> Antonia: YOU TALKED ALITTLE BIT ABOUT PLAYERS CLUB AND SOME OF THEMEASURES ISLETA TAKES TO KIND OF TRACK OR PREVENTANY KIND OF DISHONESTY MAYBE.

DO YOU HAVE ANYTHING TOADD TO THAT OR WHAT ED WAS SAYING? >> Chafins: IT HELPS WITH USMARKETING WISE SO WE CAN KIND OF SEE WHO BETS ON THE SPORTS GAMESAND ALSO GOES TO THE TABLES AND SLOTS AND WE CAN GIVE OFFERS ANDPROMOTIONS ACCORDING TO THAT.

IN THE SPORTS BOOK WEARE CURRENTLY DOING OUR PROMOTION, EVERY TIMEYOU MAKE A BET, YOU GET A DRAWING TICKET ANDTHEN ON MARCH 1, WE'LL DO A DRAWING FOR TWO ORA PAIR OF TICKETS TO THE FINAL FOUR GAMES.

IT IS KIND OF TRYING TOPUT OUT THERE THAT WE WOULD LIKE YOUR BUSINESSAND WE'LL ALSO GIVE PROMOTIONS BACK THROUGHUS BEING ABLE TO TAKE THE PLAYERS CLUB CARD.

THAT DEFINITELY HELPEDUS FOR A FEW REASONS.

IT IS GOOD.

>> Antonia: YOU KNOW, LIKE WE SAID AT THE BEGINNING OF THIS TALK, THIS IS FAIRLY NEW FOR STATES, TRIBES.

I BELIEVE IS IT A YEARNEARLY A YEAR OLD THE SPORTS BOOK NOW? >> Chafins: IT HAS BEEN A YEAR.

ACTUALLY WHEN WE STARTED THEPROCESS, THE INITIAL GOAL WAS TO TRY AND GET SPORTS BOOK UP BYMARCH MADNESS LAST YEAR.

SO, THANK GOODNESS ITWILL BE UP NOW.

SUPER BOWL WAS A LITTLEBIT FAR REACHING BUT, YEAH, I MEAN THOSE ARETWO BIG EVENTS AND THOSE ARGUABLY ARE THE BIGGESTSPORTS BETTING EVENTS THAT WILL TAKE PLACE INTHE CALENDAR YEAR.

WE WERE GUNNING FOR THEMARCH MADNESS DATE.

THAT NEVER HAPPENED.

THERE WERE SOME DELAYSIN TERMS OF WANTING TO BE THOROUGH, WANTING TO, YOU KNOW, CROSS THE T'S, DOT THE I'S.

WE HAD OTHER MEMBERS OFTHE TRIBAL COUNCIL THAT HAD NO INTEREST IN USPURSUING THAT.

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SO, WE HAD OTHERS THATHAVE NEVER BEEN TO A SPORTS BOOK.

SO, IT JUST TOOK A LOTOF EDUCATION, A LOT OF, LIKE I SAID, A LOT OFRESEARCH.

WE WANTED TO DO OURHOMEWORK TO MAKE SURE THIS WAS THE RIGHT THINGFOR US TO DO.

>> Antonia: WHAT DO YOUHOPE FOR THE FUTURE WHEN IT COMES TO SPORTS BOOKAND SPORTS BETTING AT ISLETA? >> Calabaza: QUITEHONESTLY MY HOPE AS THIS THING PROGRESSES WOULDBE THAT WE ARE ABLE TO GET APPS ON THE MOBILEPHONE AND BE ABLE TO BET LIKE THEY DO IN NEVADA.

IN NEVADA THERE IS A GEOFLEX THAT GOES AROUND THE STATE AND YOU CANMAKE A BET ON YOUR PHONE.

AND, SO, THAT GIVES RISETO IN-GAME WAGERS.

IF SOMEBODY IS FOULED INA BASKETBALL GAME AND HAS FREE THROWS COMINGUP, IN-GAME WAGING IS WILL HE MAKE THE FREETHROWS, WILL HE MAKE ONE OUT OF THE TWO? WILL HE MAKE BOTH? THEY PUT UP THOSE ODDSALMOST INSTANTLY AND IT IS JUST A MORE EXCITINGMORE FUN WAY, IN MY OPINION, TO WATCH AGAME.

IT IS LIKE THE BETS FORTHE SUPER BOWL.

THEY HAVE DIFFERENT BETSOF WHAT COLOR IS THE GATORADE GOING TO BE, WHO IS GOING TO WIN THE COIN TOSS? WILL SOMEBODY MAKE ANINTERCEPTION AND RUN BACK FOR THE TOUCHDOWN.

THERE ARE HUNDREDS OFTHESE BETS.

HOW LONG WILL THENATIONAL ANTHEM GO? IT IS ONE OF THOSETHINGS, THAT JUST, FOR ME, AS A LONG-TIMESPORTS WATCHER AND SPORTS ADVOCATE, IT JUSTBRINGS MORE EXCITEMENT TO THE GAME.

>> Antonia: STACI.

>> Chafins: I THINK THAT RIGHTNOW WE RIGHT NOW WE HAVE FIVE SPORTS WRITING TERMINALS FORPEOPLE TO MAKE BETS AND FOUR KIOSK MACHINES.

WE ARE ALREADY GROWINGWITH THE LINES OF PEOPLE WE HAVE AND TO JUST MAKEIT A MORE EXCITING PLACE TO BE.

RIGHT NOW EVERYONE LOVESBEING THERE AND BECOME FRIENDS.

PEOPLE THAT DON'T EACHOTHER BUT THEY ARE CHEERING ON THE SAMETEAM AND THEY ARE ALL FRIENDS.

SO, JUST MORE OF THAT, JUST TO SEE WHERE WE STAND.

WE ARE ONLY LESS THANSIX MONTHS OPEN.

SO, WE WILL SEE.

AND EXCITED FOR THE FUTURE.

>> Antonia: ED, YOURTHOUGHTS ON TRIBAL SOVEREIGNTY, TRIBALCASINOS, INDIAN GAME AS PART OF TRIBALSOVEREIGNTY AND ALSO TO BENEFIT TRIBAL CITIZENS, THEIR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND THEBETTERMENT OF OVERALL COMMUNITIES, THOUGHTS ONISLETA.

>> Calabaza: ALL OF THATGOES HAND IN HAND.

IF WE CAN PROVIDE AGREAT PLACE FOR ENTERTAINMENT FOR PEOPLETO GO THERE, AS THE BUSINESS GROWS, THEN WEBENEFIT AS A TRIBE BECAUSE WE DO HAVE AGOOD PORTION OF OUR TRIBAL BUDGET ISSUPPORTED BY THE CASINO.

SO, AS THAT GROWS ANDOUR BUDGET GROWS, YOU KNOW, WE WOULD LIKE TOGET MORE SOCIAL PROGRAMS IN THE WORKS, TO HELPOUT THE RESIDENTS AND TRIBAL MEMBERS OFISLETA.

WE ARE A SOVEREIGNNATION.

IN FACT, THE FIRSTCOMPANY THAT WE WENT TO THAT WAS GOING TO HELPUS OUT TO MAKE — THAT WAS GOING TO TAKE THERISK OF SETTING OUR LINES, HAD TO BACK OUTBECAUSE THEY DIDN'T WANT TO — THEY WANTED US TOWAIVE OUR SOVEREIGN IMMUNITY.

AND THAT IS SOMETHING ATRIBE WOULD NEVER DO.

WE WENT BACK TO THEDRAWING BOARD AND HAD TO WAIT FOR ANOTHER COMPANYTHAT WAS WILLING TO SAY, WE RESPECT YOUR RIGHTFOR SOVEREIGNTY AND WE'LL WORK WITH YOU.

>> Antonia: THANK YOUBOTH FOR BEING HERE TODAY AND WE LOOKFORWARD TO FOLLOWING THIS ISSUE UP IN THEFUTURE AND, ED, YOUR SUPER BOWL PREDICTION? >> Calabaza: I THINK ITWILL BE A HIGH SCORING GAME.

I AM GOING TO TAKE THE– >> Antonia: YOU'RE AHUGE SPORTS FAN.

THANK YOU BOTH.

>> Chafins: THANK YOU FOR HAVINGUS.

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